Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all.

Thus far, my trip has been extremely . . productive, I should say. How else would describe the seeing of nearly everyone on my 'list' in the first three days? (We're talking 9 people.) Of course I hope and plan to see some of them again, take more pictures, eat more food, talk more life . . but I'm off to a great start! And all of that without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. There have been late hours and the word exhaustion could be thrown in here a couple of times without it being an exaggeration, but at the same time it's been relaxing and already refreshing.

I've been spending some sweet time with the niece and nephew for the first time in a year, and I hope to leave them with the lasting impression that Aunt Lala is their coolest relative by far. I know - shouldn't be too tough. :) I was happy to find that my 4-year old nephew actually likes me now, will give me hugs, and enjoys sitting next to me on the couch. All things that should not be taken for granted . . especially in Mr. Moody's case. But lucky for me, he seems amenable to the idea of being my little buddy.

"Lala, do you like sick people? Or do you want them to stay away?"

"I like them. I just don't like when they cough on me."

"Ok . . I won't cough on you . . can I sit by you on the couch?"

My 2-year old niece occasionally finds me funny, didn't mind when I brought her into bed with me at 2am last night (since she woke up crying), and has the cutest little voice . . that I get to listen to all day long, because she rarely stops talking. And her smile? It melts my heart.

I hope you all soak up the smiles and talking and laughter with your family tomorrow. I can't wait to read about it!

Friday, December 21, 2007

I Went a Wassailing

EB was in town this Tuesday, my lovely former bedroommate and brilliant Duke law student. She shot out a mass email to all her D.C. friends suggesting dinner at a nearby restaurant. Of course I'd be there, I said. But when I received a follow-up email suggesting we go caroling instead . . . I was none too thrilled. I envisioned myself among a merry, gay crowd of carolers standing near some metro stop and obnoxiously belting out Christmas tunes. Sounded like a really dumb idea to me. But if it meant seeing EB, I would go.

We met at her friends' home where I was reintroduced to her old college chums as we sat around drinking wine and eating white cheddar corn puffs, holiday music playing in the background. Her friends were delightful, genuinely nice people, and the music and stockings on the mantel were really infusing some Christmas spirit into my bones. So much so that when the sheet music was passed around, I was ready to do some singing!

Rather than sing to passersby at a public place, the idea was to stop by the neighbors' houses and treat them to our little ensemble, an idea I was much more comfortable with. Although not everyone opened their doors at our knocking, we didn't mind singing for the sake of hearing our own voices. There was something neat about walking the streets, laughing, singing, and (I can't believe I'm going to say it) enjoying the bearably cold weather.

Our last stop was the apartment of five girls, friends of one of the carolers. They came out of the lobby in their furry slippers and pajamas and joined in the singing, as the guys all took off their coats for them to wear. After a few songs, they insisted we come upstairs to enjoy the cookies they'd just finished baking. We found ourselves not only eating their treats but also dancing to the ever-popular N'Sync and Mariah Christmas songs. The girls even performed their own interpretive dance which we quickly picked up on. It reminded me so much of my college apartment days and the (four) old roommates I love so much.

The point in all of this is . . caroling is not dumb. Er, no that's not really it. The point is that a good attitude makes a big difference, and anything can be fun when you're with great people. I had such an unexpectedly good time!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Cool

Have you ever seen "Meet the Fockers"?

Forgive the profanity, but may I quote?:

"Asssssshooooooole"

But you all knew that. WE all knew that.

I ran into him at the gym on Saturday, and he followed me around like a little puppy for at least half an hour wanting to lift weights with me and talk. Of course he acted like nothing had ever happened, he was so happy to see me, and would I give him a 'second chance' and let him take me to dinner? I did hesitate. But I thought it wouldn't hurt to give him an opportunity to explain or try to be my friend. (Sucker.)

He longingly gazed at me when we parted, but I felt unemotional and very guarded. And I didn't really expect him to call. Hello, track record. I'm not a betting woman, but if I was, I wouldn't have put a dime on him following through.

Turns out, he did text that night to see how my time was going with the Nebraska Girls (two of his friends). He also wanted to confirm for Sunday. Hm, maybe this was going to happen, I thought. But the anxiety in my stomach the next day told me otherwise. I just knew he was going to flake. He did call when he said he would, kept saying he wanted to see me (gag), and let me know what he was up to and how long he might be. But he didn't set a time and when 5 o'clock rolled around, he just wasn't feeling well. Poor, poor thing. Normally I would've been over it, and I nearly was. But I did know that he had stayed home all weekend not feeling well. Unless he was lying - but my gosh, why would I ever jump to that conclusion?

The desire to even see him again was growing fainter and fainter. I will give him one more chance, I thought, (because I am L, the pushover). But at that point, I didn't even care if he showed. If he wanted to make it up to me, he could meet me 'here' at 'time' on 'day' (because I would already be there). If not, I hoped he had a great Christmas (fake smile) and he could "take care". Of course he said "Absolutely I want to see you . . " and other $*#% like that. I was not convinced. So when he didn't show last night, I was unphased. And truly relieved. Yet disappointed . . that he wasn't even a decent human being, that 'friends' wasn't even an option. He did text that his flight just landed (don't believe him) and he was going to try to make it, but wasn't sure, and was I having fun? (Excuse me while I throw up a little.)

Let's be honest. We all know that he was sure that he wouldn't be making it. There would be no trying involved. So I said "It's cool. I'll catch up with you later." Vague and open to interpretation. Actual interpretation: "Don't caaare."

And I don't. But boy, this has been a pretty exhausting waste of time . . on someone I knew a long time ago that I didn't care to be with. And I know that I look a fool. I'm one of those people that drives me nuts, that I give really great advice to but can't seem to remember when it's my turn. Oh well. I know that this has triggered some good things, some positive changes in me, and I am walking away a better person . . or something like that. I don't regret the way that I handled things, and that is a good feeling to have. It would've been very easy to throw a few swear words in a text or try to make him feel bad. But I would've been the only one losing sleep at night.

I am thankful that, though I may have given much thought and attention to The Jerk, I gave no piece of my heart away. So really . . it's cool.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Second Chance

I'll give you one guess as to what the subject line is about. If you can't guess . . too bad, because I am not going to get into it right now. It's quite the long story detailing the past two days of my life. I sound in a bad mood, but I'm really not. I've just been restless I suppose, and I'm ready to go home for Christmas.

I've wanted to blog, but several times I've sat down and felt like anything I wrote here would be worthless. Not that it's normally anything spectacular.

Today was a day that was supposed to end one way and didn't, just as I suspected all along. For good reason maybe, but that's neither here nor there.

It ended with my roommate and I making one of my favorite Christmas treats. My friend J came over, too.

As is occasionally the case on Sunday evenings, I am anxious about the week ahead. Three days of work before flying home. I can't wait to be sitting in the salon chair, having Cousin Joy do my hair. Can't wait to hug my sister after nearly six months of being apart. Can't wait to curl up under my old comforter and have my sweet, skinny cat come sleep between my legs. Can't wait to be with my extended family, eating, laughing, and being reminded of what really matters in life.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm headed to my company's Christmas party in a wrinkled emerald green knit babydoll, wrinkled black pants, and half-painted toenails . . and I have a sore throat. Not in the mood!

back on track

Last night I made the best decision I’ve made since moving here. I joined a gym. After a year and a half of flab fluctuations and wishing I was motivated enough to use the apartment amenities more often, I finally faced the cold, hard truth. The keys to a fabulous and sweaty workout are: men and hundreds of pieces of equipment.* I need variety, and I need eye candy, people. Otherwise, I’ll be looking at the clock the whole time. On top of that, being surrounded by big screens and spandex is like a shot of steroids. I’m wired, and I’m ready to go. Last night was the perfect example. An hour and a half flew by as though it was ten minutes, and I would’ve stayed longer, but I knew I had to use my arms and legs today. There is a gym two blocks from my apartment and several others that are nearby, offering different class schedules and various sizes of facilities. I drove to a newer gym three miles away, and it was newer and much more spacious, so I may alternate between the two depending upon the day. Ironically enough, I would almost rather drive three miles than walk two entire blocks at a gradual incline (no parking at nearby gym). . but that is also because it’s getting cold outside, got all the way down to 42 today (that’s for you, Nebraskans:). I’ll have plenty of workout partners (if I want them) because two of my roommates and a couple of fun co-workers are members, too. I’m so anxious to get back in shape, the way I was before I moved. Actually, the way I was about a year before I moved. Yeah, that’s what I’m going for. Wish me luck!

*I suppose I should make a disclaimer here. I do not run around in tight pants and sports bras trying to get dates or even attention for that matter. But the heavy lifting I observe is a real motivator for me. And who wants to jiggle around the gym in front of cute guys? Or anyone? Not this girl.

Monday, December 03, 2007

PIcture Austin

















Say hello to Hermie III. This is the third year my family in Austin has had Thanksgiving with my cousin and his family in Houston. The turkey was given the name Hermie the first year and so it will always be called from here on out. It's a long story. All I know is that Hermie was delicious. The herbs made all the difference.
Jelly Bellies, mmm. The cousins don't usually keep junk food around the house, but while I was in town, things were different. No wonder they didn't want me to leave! Every night, we enjoyed our Blue Bell ice cream or Skinny Cow treats (Fat Boys, as Uncle Rich calls them) or some bulk candy we'd picked up at the store. When it comes to Jelly Bellies, I like all cinnamon all the time.





Here are Pink and myself up on Mount Bonnell in Austin with the skyline in the background. The city is just gorgeous with its rolling hills and green, green, green everywhere. The views from this place were amazing. I can't remember if I had managed to spill hot chocolate down the front of my sweater and scarf at this point, but fortunately when I did, it didn't stain anything. We took loads of pictures up there, posing in a dozen different ways. Coats on, coats off, kicking our boots up, back to back, picture with the skyline, picture with the lake . . and so on. I told her today that I can't believe it's only been a week since I was there! It feels like an eternity. Probably because I've been having a hard time since being back. Not because I'm back, but . . another reason. It's been fun to look at the pictures every day and remember what a wonderful time I had.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

singing the truth

Your mercy overwhelms me
More amazing every day
This kindness straight from heaven
Is relentless like the waves

You're good, Lord
You're wonderful to me
You're good, Lord
So wonderful to me

Your mercy overtakes me
Even when my feet have strayed
And though I don't deserve it
You surround me with your grace

You're good, Lord
You're wonderful to me
You're good, Lord
So wonderful to me

- Kathryn Scott

Friday, November 30, 2007

Chocolate-covered Friends

I could just eat these two up! Meet my best friend and her husband, seen here at their second wedding reception in his home state and their new place of residence, The Shire. First of all, let’s just state the obvious: Beautiful People. I can’t wait to meet their children. I’m already working on the jealousy thing because those kids are going to have the most amazing shade of skin.

In case you don’t remember, BF and her man met through a mutual friend and dated long-distance until getting engaged. He then made the sacrifice of temporarily moving to her city for the duration of their engagement. Meanwhile, I was living near neither of them. The idea of your best friend falling in love for the first and only time without you being there to witness it is not what you would call exciting. I knew she would pick wisely, but I wanted to get to know this guy almost as badly as she did if things were gonna get serious. The beautiful thing is that I was able to. Throughout the course of one year, I was able to see them together SIX times. And it really only took a couple for me to give him my stamp of approval. He is the sweetest, most wonderful husband I could ever pick for my best friend. And of course she is the sweetest, most wonderful wife so BOOM! Sweetest most wonderful couple!

I have asked them to please wait for me to get married, or at least start dating, before conceiving any children, because . . . well, I’m selfish . . and I want them all to myself for as long as possible. And double-dating sans children would be so much fun! But regardless of what happens when, I am so happy that we’ll forever be doing life together . . even if it is long-distance.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Adios to Austin

My last day in Austin was mainly full of errands with my aunt, taking new toys to her specialty toy stores, picking up lunch and ice cream for my uncle, and hitting the grocery store for only healthy, no sugar added, no preservatives food. I was able to see my cousins' private school, its beautiful campus with kids of all ages running around in their cute little uniforms and SUVs lined up to take them home.

Aunt Jill planned to make spaghetti for dinner, but Uncle Rich knew I needed to have my last dinner at another local restaurant, Hyde Park Bar & Grill. I had to do it right on my last night, so I ordered the chicken fried steak with creamed corn and buttermilk fries. After dinner, I treated the family to my favorite ice cream spot, Amy's, where I ordered "The Elvis" consisting of Mexican Vanilla ice cream, peanut butter cups, and bananas. (The Mexican Vanilla is a lot like the cake batter flavor you can find at other shops, a flavor whose special ingredient is apparently vanilla bean with a strain of orchid, something you can only find in Mexico.) Christian (who, may I remind you, is 8) tried to offer to pay for everyone's treats, not knowing I'd already paid. When he learned that I'd beat him to the punch, he scowled as if I'd stolen his idea. "Ugh! I'm so disgusted!" he said. What a little character, that kid!

Tuesday morning, I literally woke up to the smell of fresh tortillas with eggs, cheese, and salsa. Aunt Jill makes fabulous smoothies too, and this time, it was peach mango. Muy delicioso! I squeezed the cousins goodbye as they left for school, and Aunt Jill and I drove around the UT campus and grabbed some Einstein bagels before I was dropped at the airport.

The rest of the day was pretty much just as emotional as I expected. Two flights, a train ride, and two metro lines later, I had made it home . . eight hours later. My first day back at work didn't help out with the whole emotional thing, but God is good, and sadness and confusion are two things that always bring me even closer to Him.

Monday, November 26, 2007

a whole lotta thinking and feeling going on

Being in a place I love like this always makes me think. Makes me think about moving. Makes me think about where I am in life and where I want to be. Makes me wonder what's next for me. Being around family makes me think, too, so it's like a double whammy. And wherever there are thoughts, there are plenty of feelings to go along with them.

I'm afraid I'll be emotional tomorrow. I'm afraid I'm not ready to go back. But I've felt this way before, and thanks to my adaptable nature, the emotions don't usually hang around for long. It's probably because I know that God has me where He wants me. It doesn't mean I don't occasionally want something else or ask 'why' or 'how long' . . but it means that when I let go, when my eyes are on Him and not myself, He gives me a peace, assuring me that today, this is where He wants me, and that's all I need to know.

The Wonderful Wonderful Weekend

The rain did not even think about going away on Saturday, so I was given the car keys and my cousin Christian and sent to Main Event to play arcade games and laser tag. He insisted on being on the opposing team so that he could shoot at me as much as possible. Our points? Christian: 9,236, Laura: 2,100. This could be due in part to the fact that I didn't listen to directions and therefore wasn't properly operating my gun for a quarter of the game. Doh! We took the scenic route home through all the beautiful rolling hills, and I tried to soak up the loveliness of it all. Tried to do it without remembering that The Texan was staying in the very neighborhood I was driving through. Tried unsuccessfully.

Crit and I were not ready to head home just yet, so we hung out at the nearby mall for a couple of hours. He was determined to find something for $1 that I could buy him, because that was all the cash I had in my wallet. Confident he couldn't do it, I was shocked to hear the salesperson at Journeys say "That chain is 99 cents." Oh, the look on Crit's face!

Dinner that night at Central Market was delicious, much moreso than I expected, and we each grabbed our choice pint of Blue Bell (mine: chocolate brownie overload) and bulk candy for another movie night at home.

*You could stop reading now since I'm simply relaying nearly each and every detail of my vacation, but you'd be missing out on the fabulousness that was Sunday!*

Pink and I had planned to get together ever since we knew I was coming to Austin, but meeting up was even easier than we expected. It turns out that she attends the same church that my cousins do! We met in the foyer after the service, and it was easy to spot her across the room. Her family was just as adorable as they are in their pictures. After a deep-dish pizza at BJ's, we went ice skating downtown on top of Whole Foods headquarters. The day was perfectly chilly for it, and we warmed up with some hot chocolate afterward . . and a fruit tart. They took me up to Mount Bonnell to see some breathtaking views of Hill Country and Lake Austin, and her husband willingly snapped some excellent pictures of us. :) Thinking our time together might be over, I was excited to hear that he was willing to hang out with their boys while Pink and I went out, just the two of us! We worked up an appetite getting lost on our way to Salt Lick (out in the boonies), but the meal was more than worth the drive. It had been ten years since I'd tasted that bar-b-que, and it was every bit as amazing as I remembered. The brisket, the pork ribs, the potato salad, the bread, the beans, and the best bar-b-que sauce of my life! We sat on the old wooden benches next to the fire and ate to our hearts' content. And there was no way we were leaving without some blackberry cobbler and pecan pie a la mode. From there, we headed to The Continental Club, the only place playing live music on a Sunday night. What a perfect Texas experience though, as the well-known old hole has been around since the Fifties. The honky-tonk music put a big smile on my face, and I was able to do some two-stepping with a pretty talented dancer, fancy spins and all! Pink and I had a great time talking and sipping the Shirley Temples provided by my dance partner, and if the band hadn't taken a break, I'm not sure we ever would have left!

I feel so blessed that we were able to meet and spend such a great day together! Another testament to how rewarding blogging can be! Like I told the guy at the club, "We're not strangers. We've known each other for two years!"

*Pink wrote about our time together, too, and she caught some things I didn't mention in my post.*

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day After Thanksgiving

Yesterday was the only day I'd ever had any plans before coming to Austin, but plans had to change and fortunately God gave me enough contentment to enjoy my day. The Texan had invited me to a concert at Texas' oldest dance hall, and we were also going to watch the Nebraska game together. Obviously neither thing happened.

Aunt Jill told me bright and early that she wanted to take me to SoCo to shop. Although it's a neighborhood I really wanted to visit, I was so disappointed to miss the game. It's been a few years since I haven't watched or listened to a Nebraska game, especially the day after Thanksgiving game against Colorado! It just would not have been right to ask my cousins to turn off their movie or to tell my aunt "thanks, but no thanks" on the shopping trip, so I asked BF to send me updates and tried my hardest to put it out of my mind. SoCo was fun! And I found the coolest vintage belt buckle of a guy slalom-skiing at Uncommon Objects. I couldn't not buy it. Aunt Jill and I had lunch at an Austin pizza place, Home Slice, and it was mouth-wateringly delicious. Areas like SoCo are just one reason I like Austin so much. There are tons of local shops and restaurants that are based solely in this city or at least started here.

The idea of shopping and a movie that night didn't sound nearly as exciting as the country concert originally planned, but I was able to put it out of my mind again and just enjoy my family. We spent some time at a local mall, and I was able to find a couple of great buys, one of which I actually needed. We saw the cute Disney movie "Enchanted" and ate the candy we'd all picked out at Lammes, yet another Austin original.

We ended the night back at home eating some "Fat Boys"(as Uncle Rich refers to low-fat, low-cal Skinny Cow ice cream treats) and surfing the web to find a new hairdo for Aunt Jill.

It's raining this morning, and the forecast says it won't be letting up until sometime tomorrow. I'm totally bummed, because of all days, these were the two we planned on being outside. Rain, rain, go away!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Texas Thanksgiving

I've spent the last two days right outside Houston at my cousin's house. He has three cute little kids and a lovely home in an area called The Wo.odlands. They took us to a fantastic Mexican restaurant when we arrived last night. The place was called Lupe Tortilla, and I don't think I can ever eat Mexican north of Texas again. There is just nothing like homemade tortillas!

Aunt Jill and I stayed up until 1am talking to Cousin JP last night. He is one of the funniest people I know, and it was great to hear his stories about work and listen to his advice about my job situation and just life in general. It's nice to know that he's always looked out for me.

This morning, we were served a yummy crescent/cream cheese dish and fruit for breakfast, and I played football with the boys in the yard for quite awhile. Little Jake (4) was hit in the face with the ball and cried "It's not fair! I'm always the only one who gets boo-boo'd." But he's a tough little guy, and when his dad asked him "Player, do you wanna take a break or get back out there?", it didn't take him long to decide to keep playing.

Thanksgiving dinner was one of the best I've ever had. We prepared the turkey with rosemary and other spices and made a delicious mashed potato recipe from the "Real Simple" magazine. I have never liked sweet potatoes until today, but Aunt Jill makes a recipe with just the right amount of sweetness. Every dish was so flavorful, and it was hard to not go back for seconds. I also discovered that I love pecan pie! Especially with Blue Bell ice cream! Grandma called and asked me if the turkey was better than hers, "but you don't have to answer that" she said. I told her it was just "different".

Around the table, we listed three things we were thankful for and one of mine was just being able to be here.

But another is that my family loves the Lord more than anything . . and being surrounded by that is the most priceless gift of all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Uno, Dos, TRES

Crit
Moe
Bert
L___ Belle
Angel Baby
Lulu
Q
T (get it? Cutie)
And many more . .

Those are just a few of the nicknames being used around here. It's Nickname Central at this house, and it always has been.

In fact, Christian rarely goes by his full name anymore. Even his teachers call him Crit. And Aunt Jill has called me L___ Belle since I was two. I can remember trying to decide which I preferred - L___ Belle or L____ May, which my other aunt called me. Either way, having a little nickname was nice.

I was left alone in the house with Crit this morning. He watched "Ellen" while I worked on my computer, jumping up to do the "Crank That" dance with Soulja Boy. "Stoooop dancing!" Crit moaned. "That's just horrible!" But when I offered to teach him, he didn't object. When the show was over, he came over to ask "What should I do now?", expecting me to have some brilliant idea for how he could keep himself entertained. He ended up with a 10am bowl of peppermint ice cream and frosted animal crackers.

Late that afternoon, Austin had an interview scheduled with a WWII veteran at Camp Mabry for a school project. I was able to tag along, and it was so interesting to hear what the man had to say. He took us on a tour of the museum, telling stories and showing us a picture of himself as a teenager. He had lied about his age to get into the military, said he was eighteen when he was sixteen. He offered to be in the Reconaissance branch without realizing it was the most dangerous (eleven percent survival rate). All he knew was that they rode, not walked. He told of his experiences during the four years, eight months, three weeks, four days, and three hours he had fought in the war. His proudest accomplisment? Making it out alive. So many cool stories that I wish I could write about, but that would take all night. I also learned today that Uncle Rich's father was the General of the Texas Army for thirteen years! I knew he was a big deal, but I had no idea!

Tonight, Lynden and I spent a couple of hours baking pumpkin cookies, making cranberry sauce, and peeling sweet potatoes. I nearly made myself sick eating the dough and the thought of any food almost made me nauseous . . BUT we still went to dinner at la Madeleine and ended the night watching "Hairspray" on the couch while eating the bags of Jelly Belly's we'd picked up at the supermarket.

Tomorrow we leave for Houston to spend Thanksgiving with my cousin JP and his family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day Two - Two much of Austin is never a bad thing

If I can write this post without falling asleep, it will be a miracle. I can't figure out why I'm so exhausted after a relaxing day and nine hours of sleep last night. I'm thinking I might be able to blame my menstrual cycle. It always feels good to be able to point a finger at that and say "It's your fault I feel like crap." The world suddenly makes sense.

Before I leave this place, it looks like I'll not only have had a wonderful time, but will also be on my way to getting in shape again. Last night it was biceps and triceps. This morning it was a two mile jog. Tonight it was pushups and crunches. My aunt is awesome.

The majority of my day was spent in front of my computer because I had some work to do, but we did get Whataburger for lunch, and it was really delish but not as good as In 'n' Out or Runza. But if asked, I'm sure I will of course rave about it. Oh, the fresh lettuce and ripe tomatoes! The onion rings were to die for! (Note: I don't ever say things just to please people. I'm just a positive person!)

To celebrate Lynden's birthday, three friends came over for a sleepover, and we all spent a couple hours at Bath Junkie creating our own scented lotions and other bath products. We grabbed ThunderCloud subs (an Austin original) for dinner, and they were every bit as good as Aunt Jill said they were. There was plenty of junk food waiting at home, including my absolute favorite - Blue Bell ice cream. I chose a pint of Banana Pudding and drizzled hot fudge and whipped cream on top. I am not even lying when I say that I think I could head south just for the ice cream. And I know you know me well enough to believe that. We curled up on the couch and watched "We Are Marshall" as I fought to keep my eyes open.

I can still hear the girls giggling in the other room with all their makeup on and pretty pink paintings laid out all over the floor. Wasn't I just twelve like yesterday? Wasn't I just shopping at Limited Too and looking forward to my monthly orthodontist appointment so I could choose new colors for my braces? And wasn't I just holding Baby Lynden in the checkout line at Central Market while the cashier told me how beautiful she was? And she was. Cute wasn't the word. She was like a beautiful porcelain doll. And now she's all grown up, tall and thin, with her hair parted on the side and her pretty olive skin. Where does the time go?

Monday, November 19, 2007

First Day in Austin

I was anxious to get here, and it felt like the longest plane trip of my life! Waiting for me at the airport were Aunt Jill, Uncle Rich, and cousins Austin (13) and Christian (9). (Lynden (12) was at a sleepover.) They took me immediately to Chuy's, the original location, and I enjoyed the yummy yummy chips in their various salsas and the Chuy's Special enchilada with stacked blue corn tortillas and chicken. Of course I bought another shirt, too.

They own two specialty toy stores in the city, so we stopped at the warehouse to put together some boxes for orders that needed to go out the next day. Austin said, "You'd be surprised how boring a warehouse full of toys can be." But we made it fun while popping Hot Tamales and listening to the Bee Gees, Christian's current favorite. He does a great (and hilarious) job of singing along!

We stopped by Target and the video store before heading home to hang out for the rest of the night. Aunt Jill and I bought matching shirts that we may just have to wear together this week.

Their home is lovely, but I didn't expect anything else. They gutted a good portion of a it a few years ago and put in stained concrete floors and a stone pillar in the entryway. I love it!

I'm so thrilled that I get to spend eight more days here, but it's too bad I have to work for three of those. I'm hoping there won't be much to do!

Aunt Jill and I are off for a run! . . .

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Expectations

He said (over email) that he "really enjoys spending time" with me and "does still want to continue hanging out" and "hopes to talk to me soon if I want to". BUT he also says that he's "not looking for anything serious" (could've fooled me) and is sorry that he wasn't "more direct to begin with". He is either saying that he wants to keep seeing me but isn't serious at this point or he is saying "let's be friends". I'm going to assume the latter and just move forward with no expectations.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

He wrote me

But I am going to hold off on writing more until I talk to him.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Jerk's friend said . .

"I can't believe he did that!"

"I am so irritated with him!"

"He was talking about how much he liked you after you left the game that day!" (The first day he didn't call when he said he would.)

"Oh I can guarantee you he's gonna regret this."

And it just gets weirder.

She told me that she'd let me know if she heard anything. I told her that, if he asked, she could just tell him I was disappointed and wished he would've said something.

Who knows if I'll ever learn more. She mentioned saying something to him, but she also mentioned that she didn't want to dig and might see if he brought it up. (He did know we were hanging out tonight.)

So what happened between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon? It's like unsolved mysteries. I will probably never know.

ready for a drink

It's 5:30, and I haven't had lunch yet. I have had an apple, two pumpkin cookies, and a frozen lemonade from Starbucks but that is hardly a sufficient meal.

Now I am going to Happy Hour with The Jerk's friends where the glass of wine will probably go to my head too quickly and I will spill my frustration all over the table.

Let's hope not.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Looking Forward

Now that the weekend has passed, it doesn't look so bad anymore. I should clarify that under normal circumstances I wouldn't have hung out with someone on such short notice. However, he had just cancelled his plane ticket home that day and changed the dates. But it's true, being unavailable never hurt anybody . . it just ruined their weekend, ugh. We won't be letting him know that, though!

I did end the weekend on a great note, babysitting for Cousin J's kids. They couldn't possibly be any cuter. When I walked up to the front door, two-year old Walker was sitting on a tall stool in his jeans, long sleeved RL polo, and a green Patagonia vest with his elbows on the credenza looking at pictures on the Macbook. Just like a little man. I wish I'd had my camera out. Six-month old Miss Michael smiled at me with her big open-mouth grin looking just like her brother had when he was that age. Walker and I spent quite a while on the sofa watching the Cowboys v. Giants game. He was mesmerized. He loves to repeat things, especially Tony Romo's name, and he thinks it's quite funny when they tackle each other and fall "on the ground". Ok, now I have to post pictures of them, although these are a couple months old.
















So I have turned my thoughts from this weekend to the coming weekend when, on Sunday, I will be flying to Austin, Texas for NINE days! I have cousins living in both Austin and Houston that I will be visiting. I've been to Austin three times before, and I just love the Southern sophistication of the historical yet very hip city! I'm excited to go back! Coincidentally, I booked this flight prior to going out with The Texan, but he will be there for Thanksgiving as well, so we have plans to see a concert together and possibly watch the Nebraska v. Colorado game. Although I could make a long list of the things I'd like to do there, I don't want to have any expectations beyond just enjoying my cousins' company. Only six more days to go!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Random Picture Friday

I decided to pick a random picture from my flickr account and just write about it. Because I am oh so bored at work. I stayed two hours late last night and came in an hour early . . and now I’m done. Nothing really left to do this week. Except clean off my desk, but blogging is way more fun than that.

So here is the picture. And I wish I had randomly chosen another, but I literally closed my eyes and clicked.


When: December 2006
Where: New York City
Who: with New Girl, my former co-worker and friend





The first thing I think when I see this picture is: very good idea. Wish they would do this in D.C. Why do I wish they would? Because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to use the facilities and there are none available. Most places require you to purchase something or wait in line for a key before they will let you use their restrooms. And who has the time or money for that? Sometimes you’ve just gotta go . . NOW. No time to ride the metro home. No time to walk to your final destination. Can you tell that I’ve had a bad experience? You’re right, I have. I won’t get into it, but it was very unpleasant. Very uncomfortable. It was one of those days when Nebraska sounded even more wonderful than I already think it is. I never thought that one of the reasons I would ever give for missing home would be accessible restrooms. Speaking of restrooms, I may as well also post a picture of the most lovely publicly accessible restroom I’ve ever found. It is, of course, in the wonderful city of Omaha. And it is in a gas station. But I prefer to call it a convenience store. Because it is so convenient, so unlike anything here, so . . wonderful. I enjoyed my time in this restroom so much that I almost didn’t want to leave. I felt so at home. Can you see why?

It was large, cozy, clean . . and it even smelled good. I would rather go to the bathroom here than in some of my friends’ homes. And I can't say that I've ever felt that way about a public restroom.
I can't believe I've written an entire post about restrooms. Actually, if you knew me, you probably wouldn't be that surprised. I guess I will sum it all up with this: if you live anywhere that is not a big city . . don’t take your restrooms for granted.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Best Visitor


I love Best Friend.
And I love that she came to visit last weekend.
We certainly crammed plenty of fun into such a short period of time.

I picked her up late Friday night and drove her quite aimlessly around the District . . just for fun. (In fact, this weekend was the first weekend that I drove all over the city numerous times without any directions. I was extremely proud of myself for being able to get around so well! Nevermind the fact that I almost got into a few accidents. I knew where I was going!)

On Saturday, we walked a mile (slightly uphill) to my favorite bagel place for breakfast. The Nebras.ka game started just after noon, and as painful as it was, we stayed for the entire game. After the game, she and I went shopping in Geo.rgetown and ate at C.abana’s on the Water.front. I took her by my friends’ joint bday party at a nearby restaurant so she could meet the whole crew. We picked up ice cream at my favorite spot near China.town and went back home for the night. My roommate Lyn taught us how to STEP (something we've both always wanted to do) and we watched one of our favorite movies “Love and Basketball”.
On Sunday morning, we attended my church and afterward met up with another Neb.raska friend at Lost Do.g. We went shopping in a cute little area near my apartment and walked through the National Gall.ery of Art. I drove her by The Aw.akening sculpture at Hai.ns Point, and we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Then it was back to the airport, singing Garth Brook's Greatest Hits the whole way. I missed her even before she left.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

the retreat

Have you ever been one mile from the ocean for two whole days and not seen it? I have. And I know it's been chilly outside, but it's the ocean. Even if you can't swim in it, you're supposed to look at it! But we stayed in the condo the whole time (except for dinner last night).

It really was a wonderful time. We learned about each others' personalities and how to better communicate with one another. We drank wine, played cards, and ate a lot of food. We laughed, we sang, we got to know each other better. It was a great retreat. And that dinner last night? Oh-ho-ho. I had never eaten veal before but I think I could eat that very dish every night for the rest of my life, especially if it was preceded by that same plate of calamari and followed by the same cup of white chocolate creme brulee. Mmmm.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dog-sitting

I'm reliable. Really I am. And I'm not forgetful. Not usually.

My dog-sitting job started on Wednesday this week. I planned to go over right after work, as soon as I got home to jump in the car. But I had a birthday party to attend, a card to buy, and dry cleaning to pick up. Come Thursday morning in the shower, I was hit with the realization. I'd forgotten the dog. Not only was I supposed to let him out and feed him, I was supposed to sleep there so he wouldn't be lonely. He's such a needy dog.

Hair dripping wet, pajamas back on, I raced over in my car only to find he'd jumped his gate and dropped a couple loads in the upstairs hallway. I felt terrible! For him and for myself because now I had to clean up the s***!

So I stayed with him last night, petted him profusely, told him I loved him, gave him two treats and so on. And I think he'd forgiven me because he wasn't satisfied just lying next to me on the bed. He had to lick my face. Not wanting to be slobbered on, I buried my head in the pillow as he frantically tried to push his nose into my neck, wanting desperately to lick my face. I was laughing hysterically, but that only seemed to encourage him. All that lovin' almost makes the 5am feeding worth it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Forecast

Today is my friend J’s birthday, and we’re celebrating at Cactus C.antina. Yay for Tex-Mex! And yay for J! J is one of my Bible study friends. The Bible study that no longer exists. It hasn’t since before this summer. But it’s the Bible study that introduced me to a group of great girls only two months after moving to D.C. last year. This summer has been crazy with everyone traveling, but it will be good to see at least a few of the girls tonight. J and I have especially bonded this summer going to baseball games, boating, etc. She is such a sweet girl with a very genuine heart, and I’m excited to celebrate her tonight!

Tomorrow night I have a fundraiser for a nonprofit that sponsors African teenagers and sends them to school. My roommate Lyn is in charge of the desserts, so I’m going to go offer some moral support and be a taste tester!

Friday night is date night, folks! He’s “looking forward to it!” and so am I.

Of course the weekend is all about football, as depressing as that now seems to be. But I am certainly a faithful fan, and I am committed to watching us lose every.single.weekend for the rest of the season. Not being pessimistic. Just being realistic. Fortunately the football in my weekend will again consist of more than just watching it on TV. I’m playing! I played two games last weekend, and despite the fact that I looked like a complete tool with BOTH my knee braces on, it was so much fun! It was also very scary, because unlike this coming weekend, last weekend was two-hand touch football and there is much more forceful running and shoving involved. I mean, four injured players on my team? You better believe I was praying before each and every play. So this weekend, bring on the flags . . and don’t touch me!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Maine Pictures




Micki came to pick me up




A bar in the Old Port area
















Peak's Island

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Work in Progress

Last night, I had a blast at a Rockstar Party! The fun part was not so much the party as it was getting ready for the party and taking pictures with my friends.
Today I stayed in my pajamas until 5pm. I (partially) cleaned my room, worked out, and listened to another awful football game on the radio.

I ended my day with a trip to T.J. Maxx and here's what we have so far:















It could be better, but it's more than fine for now.

Friday, October 19, 2007

All I Have to Say is. .

I am so glad it's Friday!

I have been having a very hard time focusing today. I am so antsy and distracted.

I have some fun weekend plans and I expect I'll find out Sunday or Monday if the Texan and I will go out again . . you know, not that I'm thinking about it or anything. I'll be completely honest with you by saying that I'm having a tough time trusting the Lord with it. I want him to call that bad. And I have no reason to think he won't other than GOD MIGHT STOP HIM. And I'm having a hard time not asking for what I want instead of what God wants, even though I know that ultimately that's what I want, too . . because hurting? it's not my idea of a good time.

Update: I just talked to my co-worker about the above paragraph.

Me: "I've been having anxiety in the mornings, but it pretty much goes away after lunch. I'm a freak."

Co-worker: "You're better than I am. I'm an all-day-er."

Pudding from the Bottoms

Four years ago, on a trip to the Deep South (Dothan, Alabama), I had several new experiences, one of which I was sure I would never have again. My friend, 'Alabama', took me to "the Bottoms", a not-so-nice neighborhood across town, for some delicious soul food. Everything I ate was fantastic (turnip greens, grits, fried chicken), but one thing stuck out the most. Banana pudding. Her dad insisted I try it. I honestly expected to find a Snack Pack poured into a bowl, but what I got was something very different. One of the best desserts I've ever tasted! Since that day, I have tried banana pudding several times at various restaurants, but nothing has ever come close to what I had in the Bottoms. Alabama just moved here a couple weeks ago, and when I went over for dinner last night, I was surprised to find that very same recipe for banana pudding was what she served for dessert! Warm banana pudding with wafers and whipped cream. It was just as delicious as I remember it being four years ago. Thanks Alabama! I was so blessed!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Baby Steps

I can't handle the boringness of my apartment. When I moved out here in May of last year, it didn't make sense to bring furniture. I would be living with my cousin for six weeks, and after that, who knew where I would move and how much room there would be. Besides, I didn't love the stuff I had anyway so buying new things would be fun.

When I moved into the apartment, I was thankful I didn't have much. The place was fully furnished albeit with ugly mismatched stuff. All I needed was a bed, a dresser, and a bedside table.

With girls moving in and out over the past year and a half, ugly things have gone and slightly better furniture has come. But it's still sparse. And it's so sparse that I am embarrassed to invite anyone over to see it. Who wants to hang out in a boring space? I've been telling myself to hang in there. This is just a season and soon enough I will have a place to decorate. It just doesn't make sense to invest in a temporary place.

But lately I've gotten quite fed up. I don't want to wait any longer! And although I don't have the funds necessary to really do what I'd like, I can still do small things here and there.

So I went to IKEA for the first time on Sunday. It's not Ethan Allen by any means, but there are some cute things. Here's one thing I came home with:















I realize it looks silly here, but I rotated the picture so you could see how it will look in my entry way. I put it together last night, and it looks nice. It's IKEA, but it's nice. The wood is heavy and solid. The shelves certainly won't dip if place something heavy on them. I like.

I also purchased two rugs. One for the entryway and one for the living room. I'm not ecstatic about them, but they are loads better than what we had.
















Baby steps to a cuter apartment. Baby steps to a cuter apartment.

Life Lately

New Hampshire. I haven't even told you about it yet. It was wonderful. I've been wanting to post some pictures but they don't come close to doing it justice. BF and I, when choosing between Boston and the foliage of New Hampshire, chose the Shire. I didn't know if I would ever be there in the middle of October again, and I wanted to see the trees in all their glory. We drove up to Lake Winnipesaukee and the cute little town of Wolfeboro. There we took plenty of pictures, had a delicious lunch of clam chowder and penne pasta in pesto sauce, and popped into a few shops along the main road. Although I was only with BF for a little over a day, we managed to also fit in a game of Scrabble (tradition), a movie ('What About Bob?' of course, because of Lake Winnipesaukee), and a Mexican dinner with her husband. I was also able to co-DJ with her husband who volunteers for a Christian rock show. And ice cream? We had that twice. It was just so wonderful to be with BF and to see how her new house is coming along as she continues to paint rooms and decorate.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lobster Dinner

I'm leaving the conference so thankful that I was able to come. The speakers were much more entertaining than last year, I saw many familiar faces and even made some new 'friends'.

Last night, we all boarded a ferry and rode across the bay to Pe.ak's Island for an amazing lobster dinner at an inn that you would only find on the East Coast. I'd never eaten an entire lobster before, but it was a fun experience! The lobster was served with a bowl of clam chowder, corn on the cob, a baked potato, and a roll. I literally got a great taste of Maine while being here. After our time on the island, many of us found ourselves at an Irish pub pounding our fists on the table and singing along as the band played.

The sad part of the evening was when I discovered that my Blackberry was nowhere to be found. Even worse than not being able to call others is not knowing when others are trying to call me! Unfortunately I had to tell my boss that no, I did not have a security code on my phone. Oops.

The rain is coming down hard outside with temps in the 50s. I'm hoping the skies clear up before Best Friend arrives and we explore the city a bit. The past two Fridays, I've been wanting to hang out with her and tonight I get to!-yay!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

To answer your questions . .

I haven't been posting any of your comments, but thank you all so much for taking an interest in my life. It really means a lot.

A couple of questions that were asked:

"What car did he pick you up in?"
It was an Infiniti. I think a G35. I just read about it in MotorTrend last night. Throttle sensitivity and rigid chassis structure. I felt that. But whatever, it's a nice car. Infiniti's don't really do it for me, and I think he should've gone for the BMW, but whatever. Actually I think he should've gone for the new Malibu, because that thing is awesome! And affordable! And American! What more could you want?

"Does he have an accent?"
No. I guess I wouldn't mind if he had a slight accent, but nada.

"Is he someone you could see yourself getting serious with?"
I wouldn't want to say yet. But I wouldn't keep seeing him if I didn't think there was a possiblity. I ain't trying to waste my time. And I know he's not either.

Maine!

Maine is preeetty. It's also cold. And I hate cold. But I love pretty leaves. And those make up for the fact that I had to bring a coat. I am up here in Portland for a conference, and the most exciting part of the event so far has been . . you guessed it, eating! And handing out maps of the internet, yeah, that part is awesome, too. Please tell me you detected sarcasm in that, 'cause there was a lot.

Last night a group of us headed to the Old Port area, with its cobblestone streets and adorable shops, for a few drinks.

Tonight we're heading out on a ferry to Pe.ak's Island for dinner. It will be chilly, but I'm looking forward to the fresh seafood that will be waiting for me after the ride.

Tomorrow, Best Friend and her husband will be meeting me up here for an evening in the Old Port and a drive back to New Hampshire for the weekend. I can't wait to see her!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Crazy is Back

I met someone.

We’re practically in love.

DON'T take me too seriously.

DO place your email in the comments box, and I'll send you my draft post with full deets that I don't think I'll ever publish. If you don't want others to see your email, just email me at luvthislife81@yahoo.com.

p.s. We're going to dinner tonight. Boy is so cool.

p.p.s. He just called me at work and said, "So you got the work voice goin'? Wanna call me when you get out of there?"

Hot.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fridays

Last Friday, I cried. I was homesick.

“Home sick? Ohhh, I’m sorry” a friend said when I called her.

“No. Homesick.”

“Ah, that’s almost worse.”

She was right. It is almost worse. I’d rather throw up and have it over with. Or have no choice but to lie on the couch with a box of Kleenex and watch television. Instead, I did it because I wanted to. Because there was no one else in the District of Columbia that I wanted to spend my night with.

Why?

Because no one here loves me! I’m not saying that in a tone of self-pity. It’s simply the truth. You can have fun and spontaneity and good food and laughs, but sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes you need to be with people who love you. People that you love.

And that’s what I wanted last Friday. I wanted to be at the lake with my family, grilling steaks. Or sitting on my friends’ couch watching television, talking about nothing and everything at the same time. I wanted a hug from someone who meant it, from someone who’s known me longer than a year and a half.

But there were no hugs to be had that night. Instead there were phone calls. And the phone calls helped. Because if I couldn't hang out with the people I loved, at least I could hear their voices, and the love could be felt across the phone lines.

Those calls and those voices made me happy to spend the rest of the night alone, wandering the book store, getting Mediterranean to-go, cashing in my coupon for a free pint of Haagen-Dazs, and watching 20/20.

This Friday could've been a repeat of last, but instead I chose to be social. I went out with co-workers for the first time in a long time to celebrate a birthday. Em was there, and we split a delicious pizza at Mat.chbox, a place I've always wanted to try. It is most definitely the best pizza I've had in the city. (Ok, ok, I'll tell you exactly what I ate; herb-marinated chicken, portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella.) I cabbed home to put on my pajamas and watch football, but it didn't last long. Invited to the pool lounge across the street, I pulled a pretty late night with a friend from home and her co-workers. I also heard plenty of stories about life at the tv station. Maybe I should've gone into broadcasting.

Today is Taste of Beth.esda, and I hope to go sample a few restaurants and hear some live entertainment. The rest of the day? Football. Of course.

Here's who I spent last Saturday with:
The Bug aka Walker. And his sister, Michael.
Atop Federal Hill, overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor. With the Omaha girls.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Little Girls

Ok, let’s talk about something else. Anything else.

Let’s talk about the adorable little girls I babysat for last night. Cait.lin Belle and Ce.celia Rose. With names like that, they had to be cute. And they were.

Some children take several minutes, even hours, to warm up to you. But these girls were not the norm. Four-year-old Celia immediately grabbed my hand and gave me a tour of their gorgeous home, introducing me to Caitlin who instantly asked if I wanted to color. While coloring princesses, Cait (“Please call me Caitie or Cait or . . . I have lots of names.”) asked me all sorts of questions about myself. I’m sure I was never that inquisitive at age five. She wanted to know if I had a boyfriend, naturally, and what I did for a job (try explaining that to a Kindergartener). She even asked if I had wanted to be that (an account manager) when I was little. Meanwhile, Celia tried on princess dresses and galloped around the house on her stick horse, Dreamer. Dreamer ran three hundred miles without getting tired. Tulip, the golden retriever, was adorable too, as she tried climbing into my lap, ball in mouth, just begging for some attention in the most lovable way.

When we sat down to dinner in the kitchen, Cait told me about all the different food combinations she liked to eat and asked me if I’d tried each one. Rice and soy sauce? Ice cream and peas? Ketchup and eggs? Waffles and whipped cream? Edamame and sour cream? The list was endless.

We read not two, but four books, before going to bed. And one book deserved to be read three times before putting it back on the shelf. “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late” was so much fun to read! “Again, again, again!”

Both girls, each in their separate rooms, asked me to sing to them or tell them a story about my day. I also got requests to “Please snuggle me”. I couldn’t believe they liked me that much after two hours!

After nearly an hour of stories, vitamins, glasses of water, snuggling, and determining if that loud noise was thunder, they were finally asleep.

I walked around their bright-colored homey home, admiring their taste in decorating and looking at black and white candids on the beaches of Bermuda (their old home). It made me excited to someday decorate my house in a way that reflects my family and our history.

I hope to be back to babysit again soon. And hopefully next time, their cute baby brother, Fenimore (2 mos), will stay home with us, too!

Now who's the weird one?

After letting my mind ooze out onto the blog in the last post, I found myself suddenly over it. No more crazy. Funny how that works. And after a few days of normal thought processes . .

He emailed. (Gah!)

And he asked me to go to a concert. (double Gah!)

In November. (Huh?)

My assumption is that this is a friend thing. Apparently he’s communicating that he would like us to be friends for at least another six weeks. And I would love to be his friend. In fact, I would prefer it. It’s just a little hard to know how to respond to the randomness. And I really don’t want to overthink this – which does mean not utilizing one of my greatest skills, but so be it. I just think that if people are to transition from going on dates to just being friends, something should be said.

Am I right? Tell me I’m right.

If you do, I promise I’ll write about something else next time!

Monday, September 24, 2007

inside my [crazy] mind

So Local Boy stopped calling me. I didn’t see it coming. Mind you, I’m very, very good at picking up on things like this. Except, come to think of it, I think there has only been one other time I’ve had someone stop calling me. And I was only sort of surprised that time. So I guess I really don’t have much experience in this department. But whatever.

The last time we hung out, I was about 100% positive he would call again. That is pretty positive. What I wasn’t positive about was whether or not I wanted him to call again. At what point do you make that decision? After how many dates are you no longer allowed to be unsure and yet still keep seeing someone? Usually I feel pretty strongly one way or the other, so I’m not often faced with this question. But I had decided that I enjoyed him enough to go out with him again. And he did call again, after he was live (on TV, his job) to ask what I thought of the story, since he knew I was watching that particular day. And after that call, I was about 110% sure he would call again . . until he didn’t.

And since that Day of Realization, I have gone through quite the series of emotions and thoughts. And to be honest, I’ve gotten pretty tired of myself.

How many times can you bounce back and forth between caring and not caring? I may have set a new record.

After it dawned on me that we probably weren’t going out ever again, my thoughts were primarily . .

“What????”

and

“Seriously???”

And after some time, I figured that I needed to end my thoughts with a period by deciding whether or not I cared. I was quick to remind myself that there were about five things I didn’t like about him. Three of which were legitimate and two of which were bright yellow – ok fine, red – flags. Things that could’ve potentially caused me much more emotional grief than someone choosing (ouch ouch ouch) not to call me. And thinking about those things has helped to quell the feelings of rejection that seem to rear their ugly head every other day. But my question is how? how do you feel rejected by someone you’re not sure that you like? Odd I think.

And following those feelings of rejection, my pride seems to frequently appear and say “’Scuse me! You did not just make the decision that we weren’t going to date anymore! That is my job! Your job, keep asking me out. My job, decide if I like you.”

I’ve told myself I should be relieved. I should be glad he spared me awkwardness of “ending things” myself. But I’m not exactly doing cartwheels down the street.

I’ve often thought “his loss” as I tell myself how much cooler I am than he is. Did I not have to give the courtesy laugh a few too many times? Did I not think “you did not just say that” on more than one occasion? So it is totally his loss. He'll never get to hang out with me again . . and worse yet, his chances of ever making out with me have gone right down the tube. Only that’s actually not entirely true, because I’m pretty sure that if he called me up and asked me to make out right now, I would do it, because ever since he stopped calling I suddenly find him ten times more attractive than I previously did. And I suddenly remember twenty more things I like about him that could rip those flags to shreds – er, probably not, but you know what I’m saying.

And this is what I’ve been dealing with lately, people. You’ve just seen a glimpse of what goes on inside this mind.

I can’t be normal.

*p.s. I totally know what I'm waiting for, and I know it will come, and I'm in no hurry . . though I'm always in a bit more of a hurry immediately following teasers like that.

Best Friend






I wish she was here. I miss her.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

lazy post

I stole these questions off a daily email I get from church.

Q: Tell us about the adjustment from Omaha to Northern Virginia/D.C.
It didn’t really feel like an adjustment. One of my strengths, according to the Strengths Finder test, is adaptability. I moved and just knew things would be different, that life would change accordingly. And the changes were fun, most of them. It felt like an adventure.

Q: What does an average weekend look like for you?
Every weekend is different. I do whatever fun thing pops up. Last weekend, I spent it dog-sitting at this huge 4-story rowhouse in the city. I walked around the Dup.ont Circle neighborhood taking pictures, eating at Cir.ca’s bar by myself, making friends with the bartender. Weekends in the fall mean football every Saturday. All I want to do is wear red, watch as many games as possible, and eat greasy food.

Q: How did you find your church?
I actually attend two churches. A church leader from home mentioned the young adult ministry at FL, and I was determined to scope out a church before I even moved. It’s a lot like my home church, though there are things I miss about home. I think the greatest thing about FL is all the ways you can get involved and meet people. Plus, I love learning new worship songs and being surrounded by such a large community while worshiping. At my other church (that I consider my home church here) the worship feels more intimate and spirit-led, the people are ALL (at least everyone I've met) overflowing Jesus and super solid in their walks. I love the messages, the mission, the everything at that church . . but it is pretty small and harder to get involved.

Q: What is on your iPod?
A little bit of everything. I put it on random all the time. If I do that now, it plays Billy Joel, Vince Gill, Corinne Bailey Rae, Tim McGraw, and Hillsong United (worship music).

Q: What is on your TiVo?
I don’t have it, which is going to present a big problem when Grey’s and the Office start next week . . at the same time!

Q: Best friend in D.C.?
Well, probably my new roommate now. We have bunk talk at night, listen to daily sermons in the morning, just started waking up an hour earlier to have our quiet times with God, and we play tennis and plan on cooking together, too.

Q: What are you reading?
The Bible, When I Don’t Desire God (about fighting for joy, the eternal not temporal), Holiness and the Presence of God, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and several others I’ve begun but not finished.

Q: Favorite restaurant?
I feel like I should know the answer to this because I love eating out. It depends what I’m in the mood for. I do love Carlyl.e Grand right now. When I go home, I have to eat at Charleston’s and Farmhouse and probably El Bee’s.

Q: MySpace or Facebook?
Both of course.

Q: How did you accept Christ?
I was blessed to grow up in a home and church where I was taught about Jesus. When I was five, I went off by myself, knelt by my bed, and asked Him into my heart. When I was eleven, I realized that committing your life to God was a serious lifelong thing, so I contemplated it for awhile and decided I would jump in with both feet, forever! Best decision I ever made! I am so thankful for His grace.

Q: What dreams do you have regarding ministry?
I don’t really like to talk about my dreams with everyone, but I do have a few. I am more of a “live in the present” person rather than being futuristic. I’m just excited to see where God takes me. I will say that I love seeing people's hearts healed and watching them grow closer to the Lord. (And I'm going to be a small group leader soon!)

Q: Who are some of your favorite pastors to listen to, and why?
I listen to Alistair Begg all the time. I also love John Piper.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Yeehaw!

Let me start by being honest. I was writing this post about money and how it’s so easy to spend and how I need to spend less of it and how I really want to pay off my debt soon. This led into me saying that I had decided to not buy a plane ticket to Austin for Thanksgiving because was that really the way I should be spending my money? And it was just so stinkin’ expensive that I simply couldn’t justify it. In fact, this was the very thing I had written: “I decided I shouldn’t go to Austin for Thanksgiving. I mean, I can’t justify $400 on the plane ticket even if I – “
But no sooner had I written that very thing than I opened up a new browser and began searching for tickets again. Because before I publicly declared I wasn’t going, I needed to make sure that was an accurate statement. And I can now say that that would no longer be an accurate statement . . because I purchased a ticket! And when I think about that ticket and that trip in November, a burst of joy fills my heart, and I think I might explode with happiness. I am so excited! And the ticket I found was $125-175 less than all the other tickets I was finding! Granted, I did have to leave one day later and return one day sooner than I had hoped, but . . so what! because I’m still going to be there for five days! Five whole days with my wonderful aunt and uncle and three cousins in such a fun, fabulous city – a city I haven’t visited in almost eight years! (I can’t believe it’s been that long.) On top of visiting my cousins, I will also be traveling with them to Houston on Turkey Day to visit my other cousin and his wife and kids. There are so many places I want to visit again while I’m there, but I’m going to refrain from making a list of things to do in order to spare myself any disappointment if they don’t end up happening. I’m going again, and that’s all that matters.

Friday, September 14, 2007

the approval process

Some want to know why their comments aren't showing up when they post. I have to approve them first. This way I eliminate all the junk comments.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

post-post disclaimer

"I'm in a bad mood," I told Best Friend over the phone tonight.

"Were you in a bad mood when you wrote your blog this morning?" she asked.

"No," I said.

I think I was just feeling ornery.

If I ever sound unpleasant in my blog posts, please forgive me. I can be a bit sarcastic at times. I promise I'm a nice person . . if I do say so myself!

I can't resist calling this . . Sweet Suite

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really tired of this blog being a constant update of what I did last weekend . . but I know I say that a lot. That’s why I tried to spice things up with a little call for some fashion advice in the last post. But only three people tried to help. This could mean a few things: 1) You could care less about my new dress (which I can only assume means that you don’t enjoy shopping), 2) You don’t trust your own fashion sense, or 3) You are too lazy to post a comment. I suppose your reason for not posting could be all of the above. In that case, you would be a lazy, unfashionable person who hates shopping. My heart goes out to you. But enough of me giving you a hard time for not posting . . and on to me giving you a life update.

I could tell you everything I did with Alabama Girl last weekend, but to be honest it was primarily spent watching football and reading gossip magazines while lying in our Heavenly Beds at the hotel just two miles from my apartment. I would not be overexaggerating to say that the hours we spent doing just that definitely hit the double digits. It was quite rejuvenating and made it very difficult to return to the twin Ikea bed and an apartment with no flat screen tv.

Friday night was the exception to the above. Alabama Girl had purchased tickets to the Orioles v. Red Sox game at Camden Yards, and I was very excited to enjoy the experience with her. RFK Stadium can’t touch Camden Yards, so it is always well worth a drive to Baltimore. Not to mention that the Orioles are more fun to watch.

So there we are, an hour late – big deal, because if I sat through an entire baseball game, I think I’d shoot myself – and we’re walking up to the gate, tickets in hand. A woman on her cell phone is approaching us, and holding out her tickets at the same time. “No, no, no,” we say. “We already have tickets.” She insists “Trust me, these are good seats”, placing them in Alabama’s hand and walking away. As we continue walking, Alabama gasps “These are suite tickets”. “SHUT! UP!” I say. We both stare at the tickets in our hands and do a quadruple take. The stranger just gave us tickets for a private suite!

Squealing with delight, we are afraid to believe it’s true. Surely there’s been some mistake. But as we’re allowed up the escalator toward the suites, we’re realizing it’s a reality. We walk into the suite, full of people, and soon we see that we didn’t just get suite tickets. We’re sitting behind home plate!

The experience was pretty phenomenal. The food, the view, the . . loss – well ok, the score of the game was pretty bad, but beyond that, it was amazing. Sitting in a box like that each game could really move the sport of baseball up in the ranks for me. We were, not surprisingly, the last ones out of the box, snapping pictures and filling up a box with leftover cookies and sweets . . and using the bathroom of course, you’ve gotta have the full experience.

Undoubtedly the game was the highlight of our weekend and a treat we’ll always remember.



































Wednesday, September 12, 2007

maybe you need options




Since no one could think of any shoe ideas for my dress, I did a little research of my own. What do you think?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fashion Advice



Two things:

1) Isn't my sister cute?

2) I bought some gray footless leggings to go with that dress I'm wearing. (Don't worry, I'll wear something underneath it since it's so low-cut. I had my swimsuit under it here.) But what color of shoes should I wear? HELP!

Friday, September 07, 2007

the bright side

Having company in town is . . a lot more fun than not having company in town. It feels like being on vacation. Only I can’t afford to be on vacation. In fact, I can’t afford to buy myself a new song on iTunes. Yes, that’s right – I don’t even have a dollar to spare. This month has just plain SUCKED financially. Remember how beautifully I was doing? Not buying myself anything for six long and painful weeks? Well, I did break the streak. I spent a full thirty dollars on a shirt this month. Everything else I wrote checks for was an unpleasant surprise. Surprise!-your car got towed. Surprise!-your claims haven’t gone through, so we won’t refund the money you paid us that you didn’t have to pay us in the first place but we asked you to anyway. Surprise!-you owe the state of Virginia more money. Surprise!-sort of-you have to register your car. I feel like I’ve already mentioned all of this in a previous post, so sorry to be repetitive.

The bright side in all of this is that my month starts in the middle of the month, so I only have nine more days of nail-biting (but let’s be honest, I always do that) and toast-eating (it’s actually quite yummy with jelly or Nutella). And the blessing in the bright side is that my friend has been so generous while she’s been staying with me, and we’ve enjoyed two very delicious meals out already with more fun plans in store. I really am speechless-ly grateful.

The point in all this is that although I’ve been staring at a big fat zero in my checking account, I’ve still had a wonderful month. My former youth group leader visited, and we spent a day at the beach. Mom’s visit meant food and shopping and quality time. Out-of-town Boy visited and took me to dinner. And now Alabama Girl is here and we’ve been having a wonderful time together with lots of laughs.

God is good.

The last few days have involved:

- very delicious Mexican food at Cab@na’s on the Waterfront
- melt-in-your-mouth brownies homemade by us
- walking around the shops in G-town
- homemade hot wings, white rice and a glass of Pinot (thanks to my roomie Lyn, the best cook ever!)
- bathroom talk and other candid conversation
- Chinese dinner where I picked my tilapia straight out of the fish tank and struggled to use my chopsticks properly
- College football on tv (We used to have all-day football Saturdays when living in the same city.)

Tonight we’re heading to B-more to watch the Orioles play the Red Sox. And although I live a full two miles from downtown D.C., we’re staying in a hotel this weekend to escape my full house. Fun times ahead!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

feeling popular

Wow, my fabulous love life is getting confusing. Typical. Ha!-obviously I'm completely joking. But I thought I'd provide a little clarification on the odd amount of attention I've been receiving lately since I haven't been providing any specifics.

We have Out-of-Town Boy who sent the mystery flowers, was visiting D.C. last weekend, took me to dinner and watched the game at the pub with me.

We have Local Boy who I've gone out with three times. Same guy I ate the silica in front of. Same guy that took me to the baseball game.

And we have Boat Boy, one of the guys I go boating with that occasionally calls for no reason and wants to take me to dinner this week.

Out-of-Town Boy is the punster, the one that I enjoy least, the one that seems to have been the most persistent - go figure.

Local Boy is fun, considerate, I like him, but . . not so sure.

Boat Boy is funny, fun and owns a boat. Do I even need more in a guy? But seriously, I'm not attracted to him. And most importantly, he doesn't love Jesus.

So there's the scoop. Bottom line: I'm probably going to be single for awhile.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

my Labor Day

Not only did the Boy get us great seats at the Nats game, he took me to dinner on the Waterfront, ordered me fried calamari even though he doesn't like it much, and let me watch football on his huge flat screen. Best part of the night? Dancing in his living room to Justin Timberlake's live concert . . well, me more than him. Can someone say comfortable?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

change of plans

Could you sense the negativity in my 'Beaches' post? Being the positive person that I am, I took it as a good indication that I shouldn't go to the beach this weekend. I just didn't have a peace about it. And whenever a feeling of unease overpowers my love of all things fun in life, I know that I best be going with my gut. It still doesn't make a whole lotta sense to me, but I know that staying home was the right thing to do, and I haven't regretted it for a second.

Boy that sent the mystery flowers and lives out of town happened to be in town this weekend, and I decided the nice thing to do would be to . . let him take me out to dinner. Er, I mean hang out with him. Honestly, I didn't realize the night would consist of scrumptious baked and tender halibut served over a moist polenta cake topped with vegetable salsa . . or that it would be followed by a warm chocolate macadamia nut waffle next to a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream drizzled with chocolate and caramel. Otherwise, I would've been way more excited about it. The more chances I give this boy to win me over with some aspect of his personality, the more I am annoyed by his silly puns and quirky habits. I feel mean saying that, but can I be honest on my own blog? He is such a nice guy, but there is absolutely nothing that would lead me to believe that we would be a good match. And for that reason I made a specific effort to explain in great detail why I would not want to move back to my home state (even though I love love love it).

I took him back to his hotel at a relatively early hour, but not before he asked if he could watch the Nebraska game with me on Saturday at the glorious pub near Union Station. I said 'of course' only partially hesitant. I don't mind having his company, and I'd made perfectly clear my non-interest so no harm in having him tag along.

The next day, donned in red, I awaited his call to let me know he was ready. He'd had to pick up his new 'toy' several miles away. The word that would best describe the way I was feeling after getting his call is: angry. Or rather irritated, I suppose. We were going to be late. I chose immediately to pick up a bad attitude and phone my mother to vent. "Gah!! Mom! I am so irritated!! Now we are going to be really late and there won't be anywhere to sit!!", I said as I pulled my car up to his truck and tensed my muscles in frustration. Suddenly, the large styrofoam cup full of fruit smoothie and sandwiched between my legs broke open and my healthy lunch began oozing out the side and into my crotch. I screamed, hung up the phone and endured his laughter as he saw what had happened. Exactly what I deserved for being in such a sour mood.

I was right about not finding a place to sit. Although it was a holiday weekend and we were up against an unranked team, the die-hard Husker fans were there and just as pumped as I was for the season to start. At least 300 people filled the four rooms displaying nothing but the Nebraska game on the big screens. I met a rowdy crowd near the bar and became the victim in their celebratory human push-ups display in the middle of Mass Ave. I didn't realize I'd be thrown into the air thirty-five times when I agreed to step outside. We dominated Nevada of course and when the game was over, my appetite for football was still not satisfied. So the boy and I grabbed some burgers and fries from F!ve Guys and watched the Cal game back at my apartment.

Today I am more aware of the fact that my friends are on the beach while I've been sitting here in my pajamas for the past three hours. But I'm excited for a low-key day of church, the pool and who knows what else. And tomorrow I've got plans with another boy to see the Nats play. I guess it's nice to not always be so busy.